tv NBC Bay Area News at 5 NBC August 29, 2013 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT
described, slow going. westbound not as bad. commuters taking it in stride, it's been slow but nothing they can't handle. trucks in and out. the work here is nonstop. it's the first full day of the bay bridge closure and that means finding another way in and out of san francisco. it's been no problem for marianne of concord, hosting relatives visiting from new jersey. bart is the obvious answer. was it packed today? >> it was -- there were people standing but not bad, i don't think. >> my father was driving us back over the bridge and i saw the signs it was going to be closed and i thought, i guess bart. >> reporter: others have the same idea. >> this morning through 10:00 a.m., more than 30,000 extra riders. so that is a big jump. >> reporter: spokesman jim said bart was prepared with volunteers volunteering for
overtime, running longer trains. >> no delays so far. >> and yesterday, kind of a surprise. >> yesterday was a bit of a surprise, our tenth busiest day ever in the 40-year history of bart and the bridge wasn't even closed. >> reporter: the golden gate bridge saw an increase of traffic, 35% more compared to last thursday. the golden gate ferry got a boost up nearly 20%. >> it hasn't been a big deal. we're used to living in the bay area with strikes and construction and everything else. >> reporter: for this oakland native, now living on the east coast -- >> bittersweet to say good-bye it, having been born and raised here. i'm excited for the new bridge and we'll be back to see it. >> reporter: back here live on the 92, this is still traffic from people trying to avoid the bay bridge that's closed. this is -- there have been three other times the bay bridge has been shut down during labor day weekend but you've got two extra added work daze, thursday and friday. bart expecting today's ridership
numbers will surpass yesterday's record numbers. >> we knew this was coming. there was so much publicity about the bay bridge shut-down yet still there are problems. we saw the 92, a backup. here, a standstill. getting onto the golden gate bridge. this is our nbc photographer norwert lee, moved 10 to 15 feet in the last few minutes. this is the approach from san francisco onto the golden gate trying to get into marin county. we'll continue to monitor all the traffic around the bay area throughout this news cast. let's bring in nbc's jodi hernandez. all the talk about the new bridge. what happens with the old bridge? >> what was once considered a world-class bridge will now soon undergo a world-class deconstruction. just 24 hours ago, cars were rolling across the bay bridge. but tonight, it is filled with construction crews tasked with not just getting the new bridge ready but starting the
demolition of the old bridge. >> huge endiffer but it's going very well and we are on track. >> reporter: construction cruise have wasted no time getting to work putting the finishing touches on the eastern span of the bay bridge. they've got 4 1/2 days to get it ready for traffic to start rolling across it come tuesday morning. >> they've been grinding up a lot of the roadway to put in new asphalt to pave a new path through the toll plaza onto the bridge heading westbound as well as eastbound. >> reporter: among the work, deconstructing the original westbound approach to the bridge to make way for a bike path connector. and putting? a protective polyester overlay near the tunnel so drivers can have a smooth ride through. while construction takes place on the new span, deconstruction must happen on the old one. >> this is almost like a giant, giant complex tinker toy set. >> reporter: tearing the old bridge apart will be no easy task.
the half mile long cantilever made of 50,000 pounds of steel. >> every bit as challenging as building the saf. >> reporter: the focus is getting the new span ready. and so far, so good. >> this year was -- has had its share of ups and downs. but i think everyone is really relieved and excited to be at this point. we're going to get the public onto the safe structure. >> reporter: we're back here live. you're looking at the old bridge. we're told it will take three years to deconstruct it. and cal trans says we're going to start seeing big chunks of this bridge being removed this march. tonight, the focus is on the new bridge. crews are out there working around the clock to get it ready for tuesday morning's opening and right now we are told things are right on schedule.
>> that is certainly good news. not so good news, look at the traffic backup. especially on 101 southbound. you can see really slow going, trying to get onto the san mateo bridge which many are now using as an alternate route. also in the east bay, southbound 880, pretty slow also approaching the 92 bridge. of course, for all your traffic updates, keep it here on nbc bay area. a special web link for you, nbcbayarea.com, to help you get around. the top left-hand corner of our home page, the bay bridge closure guide. find traffic maps, transit alternatives, and our live bay bridge camera. a south bay substitute teacher under arrest after police say they found 2,000 images of child porn at his home. san jose police arrested 39-year-old ryan westfall, a substitute teacher at the oak grove elementary school district since 2006. before that, he worked with the
ymca at simons elementary for ten years. as a precaution, police have interviewed students who have prolonged contact with the suspect to ensure there were no unreported incidents of inappropriate conduct. something of a retreat today by the federal government in the war on drugs. the justice department saying it will not block state laws legalizing medical marijuana. and that caused immediate celebration in the bay area. nbc bay area's scott budman is live in san jose, one of the cities looking forward to a lot more business in the future. >> reporter: you're right, janelle. medical marijuana has long been a potential source of income for cities and the state of california. federal law stood in the way. as of this evening some local dispensaries feel they have something of a green light. that sigh of relief you hear is from medical marijuana growers and their patients. people who work and shop at dispensaries like amsterdam's
garden in san jose where, along with a large selection of medicinal weed, there's now a feeling that a federal weight is off their shoulders. washington saying it won't interfere in state laws governing medical marijuana. >> it's been wishy-washy as far as for other states too. because they first legalized, then we hear about raids. then i think this is definitely progress for the future. >> reporter: the feds say marijuana will still be classified as an illegal drug under the federal controlled substances act. but state laws legalizing it will, under the new ruling, be largely left alone. good news for amsterdam's garden and its future business prospects. >> because people do deserve good medicine. people do deserve access. >> reporter: access that will get a little easier from here. that reaction from the south bay. we also heard from harborside health center in oakland, a much
larger dispensardispensary, "th government took an historic step back from the failed drug war today." more progress in the fire near yosemite, containment at about 30%. full containment could come in the next two weeks. fire crews expect that rim fire to continue to burn for the next several months. more than 4,000 firefighters are battling this blaze, now roughly the size of new york city. concerns or the environmental impact, with smoke and ash threatening air quality in the area. just today, officials in reno canceled all athletic events including high school football this weekend because of the poor air quality. still no decision from president obama on what action he wants to take against syria for the alleged use of chemical weapons. if he does take any action, he may have to do it alone. just a couple of hours ago the british parliament went against
prime minister david cam money and rejected any military intervention in syria. in the u.s., democrats and republicans also hesitant about an attack on the syrian ren jet stream. they are demanding a vote first. nbc bay area's steve handelsman is in washington with the latest developments. >> reporter: america is divided. in raleigh, north carolina, calls for a military strike on syria. but the opposite view in charlotte. >> we should keep our nose out of other people's business and let them deal with it on their own. >> reporter: president obama warned last night on pbs that americans are in danger from what he charges the syrian government used. >> chemical weapons. they can have devastating effects. could be directed at us. >> reporter: today his top aides are presenting proof to top lawmakers. but one says the evidence has to go public before any u.s. attack. >> so that when we take what is a very difficult decision, you have buy-in by members and
buy-in by the public. >> reporter: iraq war vet congresswoman tammy duckworth has not bought in. >> if we're going to go to war, it's people like me and my families that will lead first. we better be sure this is the right thing to do before we go. >> reporter: it reminds many of 2003 and colin powell wrong about iraq having chemical weapons. a gulf war general says be careful. >> it would be a disaster fit came out six months from now that we attacked another sovereign nation with faulty intelligence. >> reporter: the white house says bush's iraq is not like obama's syria. >> our policy is not regime change when it comes to this scenario. >> reporter: the pentagon is putting one more destroyer in position to fire. >> it is a dell date situation. still ahead, how do we do in the scores are in for bay area schools. and went to avoid traffic? a new way to get around.
the community sharing plan connecting the bay area. they need somebody to take care of them. and it gives us something to do. >> this is not what you'd expect to see in a backyard. a couple in the bay area takes their love of turtles to a whole new level. and good afternoon. i'm jeff ranieri, nbc bay area weather there. after fog plenty of sunshine this afternoon. that included san jose. we'll talk about that labor day forecast and cooling weather coming up in your seven-day forecast. a live picture of our evening commute. the san mateo bridge, on the right-hand side those are eastbound lanes, slow going for people trying to head to the east bay. this of course after the bay bridge shut-down. a lot of people taking this alternate route.
today the obama administration announced same-sex marriages will be recognized for federal tax purposes which means gay couples can claim the same tax benefits as heterosexual couples. the rule is stands even if the couple lives in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage. this assures legally married same-sex couples can move around the country knowing their federal filing status will not change. workers held a super-sized strike across the nation today from this rally at a mcdonald's in oakland to cities including chicago and new york. workers called for better pay, regular schedules and the right to form a union. fast food employees in california make as little as $8 an hour. they are demanding $15 an hour. workers say the pay increase will allow them to take care of their families without having to depend on government services like food stamps. mcdonald's issued a statement saying it aims to offer competitive pay and benefits to its employees. for the first time in a decade, scores are down on state
standardized tests. the academic performance index, api, shows a two-point drop in test scores statewide. here's a look at numbers from some of the bay area's largest school districts. oakland unified api is 721. an sew 798. mt. diablo 791. san francisco 805. the statewide api target is 800. the bay area's first bike-sharing network kicked off at five cities from san francisco to san jose. san francisco mayor ed lee got things start the by leading a bike ride from the city's cal trance station to city hall. it starts with 700 bikes at 65 special bike stations. users can pay $88 a year or $9 for the day. they'll have about 30 to 45 minutes to pedal to the next stop and drop the bike off. new members say the plan makes sense for short trips around town but some bike advocates are disappointed the program didn't start with more bikes or locations in the east bay. organizers say they plan to
expand if interest in the program grows. >> they do it in london, new york city, now it's finally here. >> catching on. chief meteorologist jeff ranieri did you bike to work today? >>dy not. i saw those this morning and i thought, hm, i could save a few minutes. i was thinking i'd check it out this weekend. let's go ahead and get a look at the overall pattern. we did have humidity moving up from the south. the circulation around this area, high pressure helping to make it feel a little sticky out there. temperatures all in all, widespread 80s throughout most of the bay area. our forecast as we head throughout friday, and you'll notice that fog is not going anywhere. we'll start with cloudy conditions at the coastline. also widespread cloud cover by the bay. and more of the low clouds here for the interior valleys. temperatures near 60. here we go by 11:00 a.m., a clear push-back of that fog. temperatures in the upper 70s and sunny skies for interior valleys. outside right now to that high-definition sky camera network on this thursday, one
more day to the weekend. you can see it is clear outside right now in san jose. winds 10 to 20 miles per hour. air quality in good levels. none of the smoke from the rim fire getting close to us. off to the north what you will find here in palo alto is the fog line at 800 feet, shallower than this time yesterday. that's a fine some of that fog pattern beginning to weaken. a beautiful shot of san francisco from emeryville. looking to downtown. fog factor forecast for tomorrow, highs all counties highlighted dealing with patchy areas and low clouds. by the afternoon that starts to push back. we think we'll get a few rays of sunshine around san francisco. also half moon bay. and full-on sunshine for the interior valleys to san jose. a real nice friday shaping up for us. overall temperatures going to stay very stable here for parts of the south bay. we're not going to see things warm up a whole lot here because we're going to have the influence of the bay. a slight onshore wind trickling down into the santa clara
valley. 84 san jose. 87 morgan hill. 90 gilroy. notice in the east bay, this is the closest to some of that inland heat trapped across the desert southwest. as that filters in from the back door, it's going to get trapped across the tri-valley. that's why temperatures will be riding that 90-degree line for most of you as i don't head throughout friday. 70 san francisco. 77 berkeley. 49 oakland. a little more milder for our standards this time of year. tomorrow we'll stay with pretty much the same pattern with more of that humid air moving up from the south. as far as labor day weekend, well, we'll see temperatures begin to drop off sunday. monday and tuesday just a little bit. we'll have areas of fog and drizzle on sunday as this system moves off to the north. overall, a very nice finish to august coming our way. of all things that could change the course of your life, an allergy to fur sounds like an unlikely one. >> that's what led a castro valley couple down an interesting road. that and a soft spot for very
hard creatures. garvin thomas is here with their one of a kind-story. >> gary and ginger are happy in the east bay. when the state demolished their castro valley home to make way for a freeway, they were given the money to settle else heave where. they moved two miles away. when they like something, they're all-in. as you'll see in tonight's "bay area proud." if there's one thing that is undeniably true about living in the bay area, it's that you never know what you'll find around the next corner. particularly if that corner takes you to the end of this castro valley cul-de-sac and the home of gary and ginger willfong. >> are you guys crazy? >> yeah. >> he is. i'm not. >> she drove me crazy. >> bickering, turns out, is one of two things that the willfongs of very good at.
the other? taking care of this little guy. and these big guys. and absolutely every kind of turtle and tortoise in between. >> busting through the grass there. >> reporter: just how many live in gary and ginger's backyard? your guess is as good as theirs. >> when animal control was here counting, when she got to 115 she says, i'm not going to count any more. >> these guys will start showing in just a minute. >> reporter: gary says it started with a single tortoise in 1987. he had animals al0hykykyká= his when ginger developed an allergy to fur, turtles made sense. ginger was soon on board as well. >> they don't talk back. they don't cause a ruckus. >> reporter: gary and ginger liked turtles so much they couldn't help collecting them. when one needed rescuing, they couldn't say no to that either. or the next one.
or the hundreds upon hundreds that have ended up on their doorstep since. they are now a recognized turtle and tortoise rescue organization, accepting animals from around northern california and the world. >> that one you're aiming at is oscar rehe came from africa in '87, '88. boy were his legs tired. >> reporter: it seems there is almost no end to the number of animals that need help and no end to gary and ginger's dedication to them. >> box turtles love water. >> reporter: caring for, feeding, watering, seven days a week, morning, noon and night, every day of the year. never taking a vacation. never asking for help. >> it's just one little part of the world that we try and help. >> they need somebody to take care of them. and it gives us something to do. >> reporter: so, yes, by their own admission, the willfongs are crazy. and because of that, these turtles are lucky.
>> they don't get any financial -- they fund it all themselves. ginger said, that's too much paperwork. >> where do you get these stories? where do you find these people? >> they come out of the woodwork. >> i may have to adopt one. thanks so much. coming up, the nfl makes a multi-million dollar deal with former players suffering from head injuries. also, could there be a cure for jet lag?
reached the golden gate bridge going northbound. slow going right now. is. but we'll keep you posted and give you any updates. jet lag can take a toll but new research suggests a cure is in our future. great for a lot of international travelers. oxford university researchers found mice can adjust their untender at clocks. they used mice to look at gene patterns in the brain. one molecule affects how mice handle changes in life cycles. scientists found when they block this molecule, mice recovered fast where their light and dark cycle was disrupted. if the same molecule can be found and blocked in humans jet lag could be a thing of the past. back in the moment with a big settlement for the nfl.
major news today involving the national football league. the nfl has reached a settlement with 4,500 former players that were suing the league over concussions. the agreement will have the nfl pay $765 million to these former players. in addition, it will fund medical exams and research. the former players which include some of the biggest names to ever play accuse the league of hiding known risks of concussions in order to protect the league's image. as part of the settlement, the nfl admits no wrongdoing. a judge still needs to approve the deal before it becomes official. the 2014 big game between
cal and stanford will be plays at the new memorial stadium. cal athletic director barber made the announcement after bears fans made it clear they wanted a game on their home turf. the big game alternates between berkeley and stanford each year. the department reached out to alumni, students and season ticket holders before making her decision. check in with our traffic map if you're expecting to come home from work or school, be patient, it might be awhile. you see red especially along the peninsula on 101 approaching the san mateo bridge. also on 880 going south. a lot of red on our traffic map with the bay bridge closed. people seeking alternative routes from 92 and of course the golden gate bridge and richmond/san rafael bridge. >> we'll keep an eye on the traffic situation and get updates online nbcbayarea.com. >> thanks for joining us at 5:00. hope to see you back here at 6:00.
on the broadcast tonight, making the case for a strike in syria. late word of what the white house is telling congress, and tonight a report from inside damascus where they are bracing for an attack. paying the price. accusations of a cover-up over concussions, and now a massive payout from the nfl to thousands of players ravaged by hits to the head. sleepless in america. millions of people using prescription meds. tonight, who's desperate for a good night's sleep and why pills are not always the right answer. and against the odds. beloved tv star valerie harper. how she is doing months after a devastating diagnosis. tonight, meredith vieira is with her as doctors tell her something she didn't see coming. "nightly news" begins now.